YMCA Mendip & South Somerset have just announced that Routes, the drop-in advice centre and cafe for young people in Frome town centre, will close on 1st November.
This is a bad decision. Routes is an important part of our community support network and an invaluable and unique service. It provides a safe, warm and welcoming environment for young people aged 11-25 seeking advice and support on a wide range of issues affecting them such as housing, health, employment, relationships and finances. Young people need a young people’s service that understands both their feelings and their particular requirements and needs.
When it closes, young people will hopefully be guided towards other agencies, but there is nowhere like Routes that can provide an open access drop-in service specifically aimed at young people. It is inevitable that many will not get the help and support they need.
Instead of closing Routes suddenly, YMCA should be working with other agencies, community groups, and our Town, District and County Councils to explore alternative arrangements so that a drop-in advice centre for young people can continue in Frome town centre.